Hardy housebuilding colleagues are preparing to climb Snowdon in aid of a girl in Stoke-on-Trent who is recovering from life-changing surgery.
From left, Bovis Homes colleagues Liz Keogh, Olivia Edge and Carmen Shum, with Millie, at the housebuilder's Stafford office
Millie Emery, 8, has spastic quadriplegia, which affects her limbs, and Bovis Homes staff will contribute towards physiotherapy after expensive specialist surgery to improve her movement, by trekking up Wales’ highest mountain.
Workers from the housebuilder’s Mercia region, based in Stafford, have been preparing for the May feat and are hoping to raise thousands of pounds after Millie’s operation, which should allow her to sit and move without help, and hopefully walk with an aid in future.
The housebuilder aims to raise £10,000 for Millie’s cause and is holding fundraising events, including a company car wash and cake sales. Millie has also visited the Bovis Homes office, at Dunston Hall, to meet the team.
Emma Emery, Millie’s grandma, said: “To climb Snowdon to raise money for Millie is so amazing and we’re delighted with Bovis Homes’ support. We can’t believe this commitment, especially such an inspiring challenge – we’re so impressed.
“This donation will mean everything. She has no independence at the moment and the operation means she will hopefully have this, not just for now but later in life as well. We hope she will be able to stand up and any pain will disappear.
“Up until now, she has been awake at least three times a night, when she needs turning in the night as she can’t do it on her own. It means, although she’s so energetic, bright and funny, she can be tired throughout the day.”
Millie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at six weeks old, loves to read and sing and her favourite performers are George Ezra and Ed Sheeran. She’s also a big fan of musical films including The Greatest Showman.
Bovis Homes colleagues Carmen Shum, Rhea Sargeant and Olivia Edge wash cars to raise funds for Millie
Millie had Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, which costs £16,000, last month at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool. It aims to reduce the stiffness in her limbs, which means she would be able to move more freely and perhaps without her wheelchair or special seating.
All of Millie’s limbs are affected and she gets frustrated that she can’t carry out the activities other children of her age can.
Joanne Morrison, Stafford-based regional managing director at Bovis Homes, who is taking part in the trek, said the team couldn’t wait to get started to support Millie.
“Millie is such an inspiration and we want to do all we can to support her,” she said.
“Snowdon is a massive challenge for our Bovis Homes team but it’s so worth it and we can’t wait to contribute towards giving Millie a more independent life.”
The surgery involves going into the spine and identifying nerves that cause spasticity in the limbs. Physiotherapy is then needed, plus specialised equipment and adaptations to the family home, which are large costs on top of the surgery and equally important.
Millie has been backed by charity Just4Children, which provides support for families to help their children when they need it.